News

REVIEW: Diaz and Segel will regret this ‘Sex Tape’

REVIEW: Diaz and Segel will regret this ‘Sex Tape’

Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel star in a scene from "Sex Tape." Photo: Associated Press/Sony Pictures, Claire Folger

Genre: Comedy | Run Time: 94 min | Rated: R
Director: Jake Kasdan | Starring: Jason Segel, Cameron Diaz, Rob Corddry

By: George Wolf

With two kids, a job and a blog to handle, Annie (Cameron Diaz) and Jay (Jason Segel) have almost forgotten what it’s like to spend some quality time alone, so they decide to over-correct that situation by making their own sex tape. You know, kind of spice things up, put some pizzazz back into their marriage.

As seems to be the case generally, the sex tape turns out to be a bad idea, and the next thing you know, they are trying to retrieve the footage before it goes viral.

Segel and regular writing collaborator Nicholas Stoller penned this ode to poor decision making with Kate Angelo (The Back-up Plan), and among them they can’t decide on a reasonable tone any more effectively than they can muster enough jokes to keep 94 minutes of comedy afloat.

Director Jake Kasdan (Walk Hard) wants badly for the film to simultaneously be a raunchy comedy and hip-but-earnest love story – an unusual combination so perfectly realized earlier this year with the Stoller-helmed Neighbors. But where Neighbors burst with inspired visuals, unexpected comedic chemistry, generous writing and frenetic humor, Sex Tape just sits there, flaccid.

The pace is leaden, the laughs scarce and scattered. The film’s prevailing, toothless humor leaves writers and actors alike falling back on foul language whenever they lack an actual punchline.

Though Segel and Diaz – both comedic talents – make an effort, they are forced to work too hard to create momentum. Their relationship – the love, the squabbles, the tension over the tape mix up – rings false, giving the comedy no grounding.

Potentially interesting characters pop up and vanish, though the diversion is sorely needed. Worse still, in the one supporting character with any screen time, reliably hilarious Rob Corddry is hamstrung in a best friend role allowed only a single, weakly recurring gag.

Rob Lowe flails, though valiantly, with an over-the-top character that never meshes with the film’s internal reality and feels like part of a set of tacked on bits from another film entirely.

A pretty big disappointment, given the talent in front of and behind the camera.

Verdict-2-0-Stars

Recent Headlines

in Music

Tony Bennett sets record for oldest artist to top Billboard

Fresh
tonybennett

At 88, the veteran performer is the oldest living artist to land a No. 1 record, with his latest compilation of duets with Lady Gaga.

in Sports, Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Team’s ‘Ugly Kardashian’ trick play

Fresh
17-overlay2

Lewis and Clark Middle School's football team gets tricky with a special play called the "Ugly Kardashian."

in Weird

Dallas man arrested after ill-fated casket prank

Fresh
graveyard

A man suspected of stealing a casket to play a prank on his sister by making her think he had dug up their dead father was arrested.

in Sports, Viral Videos

John Oliver explains English soccer

20-overlay

The "Last Week Tonight" host explains the class system of English soccer to David Letterman.

in Weird

‘Caffeinated’ underwear don’t pack a punch

coffee

Shapewear that promised to help you slim down was a sham.